Drawing on my phone

A whole new medium for me to discover: drawing on my phone. Actually, drawing directly with a
finger on a touch screen is really tricky.


Teapot with dragon.

There’s something¬†satisfying in drawing a teapot ūüôā ¬†Another illustration for my book: done.

Enter Mistress Mouse

Another drawing of characters from my book: Miss Mouse against a backdrop of burnt protea bushes.   Miss Mouse was not planned.  She just appeared and took over in her gentle but insistent way.

She’s quite willing to use that little red gun.

I’ve been reading Charles de Lint – and this came out of my pen:

She seems quite ready to use that little red gun.



Pearls, claws and keys

Now that I’m finished with doing illustrations for my Strange Neighbours stories, ¬†I indulged in drawing whatever came out of my pen. ¬†And what came out of my pen was this:

I have no idea what this means. ¬†I was listening to Charles de Lindt’s “Moonheart” and Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” on audiobook. Maybe that had an influence.

The Doorbell Cat

I found some more old cat drawings (Procrastination? No!) ¬†This one was done in Flash. ¬† I liked this kitten so much that I named him Zumbador. ¬†Apparently that means “doorbell” in some language, I forget which.

Zumbador stayed in my thoughts for many years and now he finally got a new life in one of my stories, the one called “Chasing Frogs” where he undergoes some startling transformations.

In this early version, however, he does not do much.  He can stand:

And he can sit ūüôā

The Default Cat

I’ve been scratching around in my old image folders and found this forgotten drawing, done with the Harmony online drawing tool.

My default drawing settings are “cat” or “eye”. ¬†When put on the spot to draw something quickly, out comes a cat or an eye. ¬†But I like this one, a smoky cat with attitude and double jointed legs. ¬†I suspect he can shape change at the twitch of a whisker:

The haunted phone and other drawings

I’m another step closer to publishing my short stories as an e-book. ¬†Today I finished the last of the illustrations. ¬†These are mostly small, incidental drawings that get dropped here and there between scene breaks or at the end of the stories. ¬†To my surprise, not all the stories were easy to illustrate. ¬†Not all of them had objects in them suited to this type of drawing. ¬†One of the most difficult stories finally yielded this, a haunted office phone:


Then there is this mysterious bottle that a character finds in his garden shed:

Another story features a cat hopefully peering under a fridge:


And here is a flyer for a micro-lending firm that comes to a bad end in yet another story:

I’m tempted to post them all here, but that would make a very long blog post ūüôā

My stories have been proof-read and formatted, and when I’ve placed these drawings in the text, I should be ready to publish. ¬†Sort of a scary thought!

Thanks to those of you who added your names to my e-mail list to be notified when this book will be available.  If anyone else wants to add their names, please use the form below.


A Civilized Witch

There are worse things than spending a rainy winters morning drawing while listening to an audiobook.  I had fun with this drawing too, although it was more difficult choosing the colours for this witch. She is more civilized than Antjie Donder, and needed colder colours.


I cant wait to see these drawings printed. ¬†I’m planning to sell digital prints of both the black and white and colour versions at the Grahamstown exhibition. ¬†One more week before we leave so I’ll have to get moving if I want to get these printed in time!

Here are some details. ¬†The crows were supposed to be the indigenous “Wit Bors Kraai” ¬†we get here in South Africa. But apart from not having white breasts, these birds are not nearly bulky enough to be the indigenous kind. ¬† I think these crows come from Europe, like their mistress.

I did manage to work in some roses into the drawing. ¬†The drawing is based on a story called “Thorn Rose”, so the roses are quite important. ¬†Roses and thorns are important, I should say!



The witch in full colour

I finally got round to adding colour to my Antjie Donder drawing.  I wanted to use a method similar to a colour lino-cut print; layers of colour overlapping, with the gaps in one colour revealing the colour beneath.

I put a “multiply” blending mode on the linework layer to knock out the white areas but keep the black line. ¬†Then ¬†I created 10 solid colour layers under it, and used layer masks to hide each layer. ¬†Then, I painted with white and black on the layer masks until the whole image was filled with colour. ¬†Some of the top layers are partly¬†translucent. ¬†I discovered a useful keyboard¬†short-cut: “X” while using the brush swops foreground and background colours. ¬†This is great when working on the layer masks because it means you can switch between black and white while you paint.

Here is the (possibly) final coloured version:

Some details:


My eyes are officially used up now

Oof. ¬†I’ve finished my Antjie Donder drawing. ¬†It’s too large to fit onto my scanner, so I had to stitch it together in Photoshop. ¬†I love detail when drawing, but fiddling with digital details just gives me the horries.

I got some suggestions for what to put into Antjie’s pocket in my last post. ¬†It turns out that she keeps a candle, some pencils, and what is probably a little bottle of Kloktoring in her pocket.

This drawing has been in my head for years.  The imagined drawing generated a story, a doll and finally, the drawing itself.

I wish living was more like drawing

I had a totally rotten day today. Steam-pressure-stress type of day. Luckily, I was able to divert my attention into drawing and listening to James Herriot on audiotape. ¬†Very comforting! ūüôā

Apparently¬†I’m not alone in my audiobook-while-drawing indulgence, as I found out from Jesse’s post on this topic. ¬†I find that listening to a story while I draw sort of tangles that story into my drawing – I can remember what parts of the story I was listening to by looking at the bits of drawing I was working on at the time. ¬†Creates a strange sort of combination, my own Antjie Donder character evoking bits of “Let Sleeping Vet’s Lie”. ¬†ūüôā

Here is a close up of the front of Antjie’s coat. ¬†She is insisting on turning out far more genteel in as a drawing that she was as either a doll or a story:

I’m not sure what to put in her pocket. ¬†She already has a shopping bag with a doll and a dead pigeon in it, an old telephone and some tin cans in her handbag. ¬†But what would she have in her pocket? ¬†Something normal like a comb? ¬†It has to be something fairly flat to fit into that pocket…

Ink Garden

Another automatic pen and ink drawing.  Unplanned. Pure doodle, in fact.

Automatic Ink

After several failed attempts to do another “Bluebeard” drawing, I¬†disconnected¬†my brain from my hand, and this is what appeared on the page:

I must confess that I was listening to an audiobook of Frank Herbert’s “Dune” while I was drawing, so some blue on blue eyes appeared.

Bluebeard’s Mirror

It was only when I’d ¬†finished this drawing, that I understood what it was about – the story of Bluebeard, of course:

This was quite unplanned!  I tried to do another drawing about Bluebeard, and failed.  It seems I am in complete random drawing mode at the moment, no planning possible.

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